En-route to Hervey Bay
Dear Reader I was sent this today by our crew member Greg O'byrne who has sailed with Duyfken all the way from Fremantle. I think we all share his thoughts as Duyfken's expedition draws to a close. I hope you enjoy it. GRAEME COCKS PROJECT DIRECTOR Dry land in sight! The "Little Dove's" Big Voyage end is near! The night sky glows as the loom of Gladstone fades beyond the stern. Duyfken's wings shape the wind as her bows shape the ocean. Like me she is restless to stretch her wings and fly free again. Oh the joy of putting to sea again after such a long port visit. I sit alone in the main cabin. Duyfken has magically silent 5 degree heel which gives a mysterious foreign feel. Through the companion way arches the industrial loom lights the lowly clouded sky as if the sunset has been paused. Motionless too are the mesmerised crew, admiring the ease in which Duyfken is pressing herself to seaward. She knows where she wants to be! So Southward we press. Wave by lighthouse by island by reef, seven and a half thousand nautical miles since I tearly waved from the gunport doors to my parents and grand parents standing on the Fishing wharf in Fremantle. 8th April (long time ago)! The tranquil turbulent music of water flowing from side to side of the rudder compliments the acoustic guitar & mellow voices above in the setting of the glorious nights sky. A quarter of a mile away is Fraser Island, the worlds largest sand island. As the sun set this evening the squeak of the silica sand under foot returned me to this unique paradise for the third time in my life. The last few days we beat back and forth off the coast of Bundaberg like a old salt to the bar for his tot of rum. As usual the winds held us back, making only legs on reciprocal bearing for over 24 hours. However I learned that the world famous Bundaberg rum is not even owned by Australia!! Its owned by the poms! Now at anchor off Fraser Island, I sit in the starboard quarter of Duyfken's tiller flat by my hammock, sipping a mixture of de-salinated water and Wild Turkey. Were just 25 miles from Harvey Bay and only 130 miles from the Voyages year long end in Brisbane ( the climax of the trip!). My weary head lies comfortably against the transom knee. Beside me a window of reflection. The gunport door. Can I see the friendly fishing folk that passed by this afternoon? The twinkling stars and glazy moon reflection upon the pacific? The beautiful faces, boats and volcanos of Indonesia or my families faces at Fremantle so long ago? The late spring draft is carrying the sweet music from above and the moon light is reflecting upon the timber work I love. Im sadly wishing you were all here to share this wonderful sight. In this reminiscing , reflecting heaven I wish the all a safe goodnight. Greg.